Inbox space limitations lead to student demand for more space

By Karis Rogerson and Meredith Schellin
News Editor

In light of student complaints about limited email space, Arlie Martin, chair of the academic and institutional issues committee (AIIC), has drafted a proposal “about expanding the space allowed to students in their email inboxes.”  

Martin plans to present the proposal to Asbury Student Congress (ASC) within the next few weeks.

Some students who responded to a Collegian survey quoted problems such as difficulty logging in; however, most students mentioned the space issue. 

Freshman Colton Cary said that his Outlook account fills up far more often than other ones, specifically his Gmail account. “Our inbox space … is not a tragedy, but it is at least a minor inconvenience when most students at Asbury don’t have time to think about minor inconveniences,” Cary said.

“I feel like I can’t store any emails, which gets frustrating when I have ones that I do need to keep,” said sophomore Leticia Julian. “And if I do decide to save some, I have to permanently delete my deleted and sent items, some of which I would in normal circumstances have kept in order to reference them later.”

Luke Patton, public relations director for the Executive Cabinet (EC), explained that Outlook is actually a stack of hardware that can be controlled by the school’s information technology services (ITS). ITS was not available for comment.

“Right now, we’re limited to 100 megabytes, which is … a limitation from the past,” Patton said. “Maybe when we first purchased the hardware to store all these emails, storage was a lot more expensive, but year over year, the cost is getting cheaper and cheaper,” he added. 

At the moment, ITS owns stacks of hardware, containing and maintaining all the secure information in Asbury email accounts.

While many students have expressed complaints about the space limitations, a small majority of survey responders actually said they had not experienced problems with Asbury’s webmail service.  54.6 percent (130) of the 238 responders said they had no problems, while 47.5 percent said they had.

Martin said she had never experienced problems with the server herself, but wrote the proposal because, “when Daniel [Jarboe, vice president of student governance] approached me with the idea, I thought it really did reflect a change students would want to see so I went to work on it.”

Jarboe was unavailable for comment.

Although most students have not experienced problems with Outlook, 53.1 percent (112) of 211 responders said they would like it if Asbury switched to Gmail accounts. 

According to Patton, Gmail accounts offer 30 GB of space, which is 300 times the amount given to student webmail accounts. In addition, “Gmail is extremely cheap for schools and education resources,” Patton said.

Despite the massive amount of increased space and the lowered cost, Patton does not think it is likely that Asbury will switch to Gmail, at least not in the near future. One of the benefits of the hardware stacks Asbury already owns is the increased security. 

Anyone can gain access to a Gmail account, making it less secure than Outlook. “If you control the hardware stack, you have access to anything that anyone can do on it,” Patton said. “Some schools … don’t use Gmail because they’re not comfortable putting all their students information directly in there.”

Patton said, “If I was starting fresh today, I would pick Gmail over Outlook.”